Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s place in the second row at the Queen’s funeral has caused speculation that the couple were snubbed—especially since Prince William and Kate Middleton were seated in the front row along with Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall.
But royal historian Gareth Russell says that Harry and Meghan’s place directly behind the King was actually a “sign of favor,” not a snub.
“That’s the etiquette. If you know what the etiquette is, it actually is a place of honor,” he told Us Weekly. “To be the one behind the king is actually a sign of favor. What they seem to have done with this etiquette though is not prioritize [Prince William] or Harry.”
Harry and Meghan sat in the second row, next to Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and behind King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla (who were in the front row with Princess Anne, Princess Anne’s husband Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Prince Edward’s wife Sophie). Meanwhile, William and Kate were across the aisle in the first row with their kids plus Mike and Zara. Here’s a bird’s-eye view:
“The king’s major concern has been to give a place of honor to his sister and for the older roles to be relaxed,” Gareth explained. “So we saw for the first time a female member of the royal family marching behind the coffin. What we were seeing really was a time for the queen’s children rather than necessarily a focus on the grandchildren.”
“Giving princess Anne her rightful place in the 21st century in monarchy [shows that] she really is her brother’s confidant,” he added. “She is hugely admired in Britain for her charitable work, and we’ve seen that she is someone who’s dealing with great heartbreak at her mother’s passing. But I don’t think there was necessarily a priority about William and Harry.”
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